BWW Review: BLOOD WEDDING at Westmont Theatre Department

BWW Review: BLOOD WEDDING at Westmont Theatre Department
Photo by Brad Elliot

Westmont's recent production of Blood Wedding, directed by Mitchell Thomas, brings an old-California aesthetic to Federico Garcia Lorca's tragedy of passion. The desire between Leonardo (Troy Chimuma) and the Bride (Anna Telfer), who are both married to other people, defies ration and overpowers logic-and it turns Blood Wedding from celebration to disaster.

The earthy aesthetic of this production suits the pastoral lifeblood of the play. The set, designed by Yuri Okahana and built in layers of depth, gives the feeling of expanse and isolation. Performers create a slowly shifting backdrop of gentle choreography. In this setting, Lorca's tale of a love triangle and family feud has the feel of a melancholic folk ballad.

Florid pros and dreamlike narrative elements, both characteristic of Lorca's work, can be challenging to convey into grounded enactment, and Blood Wedding was uneven in terms of performance. Yet while performance failed to reach the depth potential offered by the script, musical elements, such as frequent, sung refrains and musicians playing onstage in character added notes of wistfulness, mournfulness, and anticipation that complemented the rustic culture portrayed on stage. These physical elements of the play's staging, paired with Lorca's lyrical language, illustrated themes pertaining to the overlap of tradition, celebration, social obligation, and performance.

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